• Austria's news in English

'Glitch' disrupts Austrian air traffic control

Staff reporter · 8 Jun 2014, 11:27

Published: 08 Jun 2014 11:27 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

As first reported in the Kurier newspaper, and confirmed to APA by Austrian air traffic control spokesman Markus Pohanka on Saturday, some of the civilian aircraft were no longer visible on controller's displays for nearly half an hour.

Pohanka emphasized that "Position data were replaced by radio contact", and that no travelers were in danger at any time due to the failure.

In addition, there is for "every conceivable situation in air traffic control a corresponding backup method," Pohanka said.

At the same time, there were similar failures in air traffic control experienced by Hungary, Germany, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.  Technical checks confirmed that there were no problems with Austria Control's systems, leading them to conclude that the problems may be linked to NATO exercises occurring in Hungary at the time of the failure.

The Federal Army, which oversees the military airspace,was not affected by the failure.

"We have both a primary and a secondary radar," said Colonel Michael Bauer. The primary radar can locate flying objects themselves.

The Austro Control, however, works with secondary radar. This is dependent on a transponder signal from the aircraft, which provides additional information to identify the aircraft. If this transponder signal is absent, the aircraft will not be noticed by a secondary radar.

Story continues below…

According to the Kurier newspaper, a NATO exercise for electronic warfare was being conducted in Hungary at the time, which included the blocking of aircraft transponders on the practice schedule. Problems with radar systems were also reported from several NATO member countries.

Also affected was the Karlsruhe control center of the German Air Traffic Control (DFS), who monitor a significant part of German airspace.

Staff reporter (news@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Flats evacuated after man swallows explosive substance
A decontamination squad was ordered in. Photo: MA 68 Lichtbildstelle

A block of flats in Vienna had to be evacuated after a suicidal resident swallowed a highly toxic and explosive substance.

'Horror clown' threatens bus driver in Vienna's Donaustadt
Pennywise, the original scary clown from the movie It. Photo: Warner Bros

A man disguised as a ‘horror clown’ threatened a bus driver in Vienna’s Donaustadt district and vandalised the bus.

Man lived with body of murdered lover for weeks

A man has been arrested in Graz after police discovered the body of his girlfriend hidden in the shower cubicle of their rented apartment.

Austrian far-right leader brands Merkel 'dangerous'
Heinz-Christian Strache. Photo: Facebook/Personal

The head of Austria's far-right Freedom Party has branded Angela Merkel Europe's most dangerous politician.

Austria 'horror clown' attacks leave several injured
Clown performers are not happy about the negative media stories. Photo: Graeme Maclean/Flickr

Several people have been injured in attacks by masked assailants dressed as 'creepy clowns' in the lead-up to Halloween.

Brunnenmarkt murder 'could have been prevented'
Locals remember the murdered woman. Photo: Wien Caritas

The random murder of a woman in Vienna could have been prevented if the homeless and mentally disturbed man who killed her had been admitted to a psychiatric institution.

Iraqi family ask ECJ to help them stay in Austria
Kumberg locals hold a vigil for the family. Photo: ORF

A group of people from Kumberg in Styria have asked the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for help in trying to stop the deportation of an Iraqi family.

The Local List
Five things you need to know about winter tyres
Photo: carmagazine.co.uk

It’s that time of year when temperatures start to plunge and drivers are advised to switch to winter tyres to avoid being caught out by snow and ice on the roads.

Radioactive uranium rocks on display in Austrian schools
Uraninite crystals. Photo: Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com/Wikimedia

Education officials have carried out urgent checks in schools across the country after one of the stones on display in a classroom turned out to be radioactive.

Austrian churches slam far-right's 'God' slogan
Campaign poster for Norbert Hofer. Photo: Paul Gillingwater

Austrian church officials have denounced far-right presidential candidate Norbert Hofer for "instrumentalising" God in a new slogan.

12 brilliant German words you won't find in English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Five films which will change your mind about Austrian cinema
Those surprising Austrians!
100 years since the last emperor's death
Afghani family's new home in Austria
Der you learn Deutsch?
Delighted by the light
Beware these passport scams
Of course we skipped Oarsch
Foodies rejoice at the choice!
Travel & Tourism
10 years after her escape from captivity
Surviving the Brexit for British expats
Day 2 of the World Bodypainting Festival 2016
Is Islam hostile to Western society?
Bodypainting festival in southern Austria
Europe's ice cream capital
Best Austrian beauty spots
Travel & Tourism
Three days in Vienna as a tourist
How to make friends in Austria
jobs available